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Poster: Purple Gel Date: Apr 17, 2009 10:31am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: The Love Was Always Understood...

I know this is nit-picking, but I'm not comfortable with the embracing and bowing at the end of shows, it smacks of a contrived moment to manipulate the crowd.

I always appreciated the attitude behind just leaving the stage, with nothing more than a quick wave from Jerry and a high pitched "thank you" from Bob. It re-enforced the idea that it was the music and experience that counted, not the band, and that it was more like a family gathering than an event, a shared experience between musicians and audience. The love was understood, and it went both ways, and it didn't need to be demonstrated every night in an orchestrated moment.

The Dead Head community felt like a uniquely American democratic institution. You will never find a more dedicated, informed or intelligent (ok, maybe that's going to far...LOL) fan base than us Dead Heads. At the same time, as witnessed daily on this forum, Dead Heads are not inclined to elevate these guys above anyone else (except in their musical abilities and philosophy), and no-one is afraid to criticize or point out disappointments or shortcomings. It's the old "Grateful Dead, warts and all" attitude. I believe this is pretty unique among such gung-ho fans, and it is one of the aspects I love about the community. Most fanatical fan bases treat their heroes as demi-gods who can do no wrong. For instance, I'd be surprised to hear Elvis fans complain about anything about him.

Did we have high expectations that could not possibly be reached on a daily basis? Absolutely, but while we let our opinions be known, we were always there the next night to cheer them on and experience the highs and lows together. The reason the Grateful Dead was free to experiment and jam (and to fail), was because the fans allowed (and indeed encouraged) it, because we knew that ultimately we would be rewarded with those magical moments that could only come from those kinds of risks. I can't remember how many times I witnessed disappointing shows and still showed up early, excited to be at the next one.

I just can't picture Jerry returning to the stage, putting his arms around Bob & Phil and taking a choreographed bow every night. I know this is a harmless act, and it's for the fans as well as the musicians, and I'm sure it's heartfelt, but it just leaves a little bit of a bad taste in my mouth.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Apr 17, 2009 11:19am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Love Was Always Understood...

Interesting point, PG, and I am inclined to agree (we both view it as a minor issue, I think, so don't write in everyone to say we're bashing again...?).

On the PRO side (ie, doing it), they are old and we do adore them (the "we" there at the moment), and it is probably meant more in the spirit of "we're all still alive, glad you could come, and we have reached some sort of little pinnacle").

On the CON side, they were always the band of the People, and thus, we are all one, and it smacks of a distinction between us and them that is uncomfortable in its implications...that is probably what bothers us, just a tad.

The latter point is also made more evident because it is "new" and not just a tradition (like actors on stage--in that case, there is more of an acceptance, but probably also more of an us and them aspect, if you follow).

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Poster: Purple Gel Date: Apr 17, 2009 12:50pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Love Was Always Understood...

Conversation between 2 Dead Heads circa 1984:

"So, what didja think of the show last night?"

"It sucked... Weak setlist, Jerry walked off stage in the middle of the jam into drums. I mean how many times are they gonna do Throwing Stones,Notfade Away, Black Peter, Round & Round. It seems like they don't ever jam and don't care anymore, they can't even be bothered to get the words right. Sometimes I don't even know why we bother."

"Yeah, I know what you mean..... Hey, we better get goin, it's 6am and we gotta drive 200 miles to get to the show today!"

"Fuck...let's go!!"

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Poster: dead-head_Monte Date: Apr 17, 2009 3:21pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Love Was Always Understood...

Conversation between 2 Dead Heads Aug 2, 1973:

"So, what didja think of the show last night?"

"It was a sick show. Jer's birthday, great Dark Star. Did you catch them the night before?"

"Man, I caught both nights. The 2nd set on the 31st was after midnight — that was Jer's birthday. We had a meltdown. It the most electric set they played so far this year! Jerry Moore was taping right next to me. Everybody was trippin'. We had a blast. The music was incredible."

"I heard there was half a million dead-heads at Watkins Glen last week. I was there, man. The sound check there was like a whole show. There were thousands of us there."

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"Me and and all my friends were there. I had a great time. I saw Jerry Garcia and Phil Lesh driving right past me on their way up to the stage for the sound check. I still think RFK Stadium sounded best to me. What a sound they had there!"

"I totally agree. That was the best sound I ever heard come out of a PA System, period! Did you hear the tapes going around from June 10? They sound incredible. What do you think of the Dead's sound system?"

" I was blown away by their sound at RFK Stadium. Their sound system is starting to look like a wall of sound."

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Poster: northstar dead Date: Apr 17, 2009 8:30pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Love Was Always Understood...

That was the most enjoyable little trip I have had in a long time.
Great job!

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Poster: dead-head_Monte Date: Apr 17, 2009 2:08pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Love Was Always Understood...

Conversation between 2 Dead Heads April 7, 1970:

"So, what didja think of the show yesterday?"

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"It was a Grateful benefit show. Did you catch them at The Fillmore East on Jan 2?"

"Man, I caught both the early and late shows. Everybody was trippin'. We had a blast. The music was incredible."

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"I heard they had protests at college campuses nationwide. They killed 4 of our brothers and sisters at Kent State a few days ago - those bastards! I don't wanna get drafted and end up in Vietnam."

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"I just burned my draft card today. The fuckin' man is never gonna get me to go there. Nixon said on a TV address April 30 that we invaded Cambodia. Don't you have some friends in Canada?"

"Cambodia? You're kidding me, right? W-t-F? We might just as well be invading Afghanistan, man. Next thing you'll be telling me is The Grateful Dead will be in the White House some day."

"Over Jer's dead body!"

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Poster: William Tell Date: Apr 17, 2009 2:22pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Love Was Always Understood...

Monte...you are just too good at this...

You are likely to become a national treasure.

Continuing with my Cash Cab observation, I can hear it now:

"At the LMA Forum reserved for fans of the Grateful Dead, what poster was famed for his inclusion of photos while always making a subtle (or not) point?"

And the answer is?

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Poster: He Live's Date: Apr 17, 2009 9:48pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Love Was Always Understood...

hey, now you're getting cute...

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Poster: Earl B. Powell Date: Apr 17, 2009 1:26pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Love Was Always Understood...

Although I've always been very critical of the late stages of the band (91-95), I've found myself really reining in my venom for this tour for some reason.

First, I believe the boys have discovered something crucially important about spending time at the end of the road. That is, that they've come to enjoy one another's company in what may very well be the swan song. With nothing else planned, I can see this as a hugely emotional venture for the core guys. I'm in my 50's, reminded every day of how quickly the end is coming, and feel blessed every time I'm able to eke out a creative moment between friends.

I also believe that they feel the pressure to perform and are not phoning it in. Even if the abilities have faded, at minimum I've noted some changes and workmanship on the arrangements. Nobody else out there will give you anywhere close to two hours, and it's much harder work than it looks.

So, I'll let them have this little vaudevillian moment of brotherhood without being judgmental. I'm thinking it's as much about them as it is about their relationship to us. They deserve to be congratulated for having the balls to take it out on the road one more time, especially with ultra critical assholes like us watching their every step.